Long-term work disability claims in the US for musculoskeletal issues have climbed 40 per cent overall and 62 per cent among men since 2010 – workers most affected are those with roles that require heavy lifting, repetitive motion or prolonged sitting, according to a new report.
Insurance company Unum tracked and published data associated with worker disability claims and found that, after cancer, the most common causes of long-term disability are injury, back disorders, cardiovascular issues and musculoskeletal conditions.
According to the World Health Organization, one in two adult Americans live with a musculoskeletal condition – the same number as those with cardiovascular or chronic respiratory diseases combined. The cost of treatment and lost wages related to these conditions is estimated at $213 billion per year.
Unum director of health and productivity, Marcy Ledford, said there was a mix of factors that can cause musculoskeletal problems in workers.
“We often see these issues among workers who have jobs that require heavy lifting, repetitive motion, or prolonged sitting. Aging can also be a factor, as well as lower activity levels, obesity, or co-morbid conditions.”
According to Ledford, there are some best practices for employers to help prevent or reduce the frequency or duration of these kinds of claims among their employees.
- Underpin the importance of workplace ergonomics in corporate health and wellness programs.
- Provide incentives or reimbursements for employees who use weight loss programs or regularly go to the gym.
- Implement a formal transitional return-to-work strategy that allows a gradual transition to full duty for workers returning from disability.
- Use flexible work arrangements, part-time work, flexible schedules or job-sharing tactics as aids to help workers return from disability.
- Explore disability policy options that may financially assist with or reimburse for worksite modifications made for an employee with these conditions.
The Social Security Administration estimates that one in four of today’s 20-year-old Americans will become disabled before reaching age 67.
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The Facts and The Figures
Organisations are constantly reminded that health and safety failure is expensive. And whilst this is certainly true, there are benefits to health and safety success that go beyond cost-avoidance. Today, successful organisations view safety as an asset, and health and safety spending as an investment.
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Your investment in myosh helps you and your team manage risk, compliance and improve workplace health and safety.
We encourage you to treat your software technology like a team member. The myosh Academy is designed to empower your team with Knowledge, Skills, Tips and FAQS, and to ensure they use their software tools productively.
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